Kitbashing a Sandy River & Rangeley Lakes
On2 scale coach from two Bachmann
On30 coaches.

January 2006.
I am officially jumping into a new scale! 

This new obsession of mine began a few months ago, with an announcement on the
Bachmann forum that Bachmann is planning to release new On30 models of Maine 2-foot forneys!!

This is potentially great news for On2 modelers! but..there is one huge question as yet unanswered..will these locomotives be able to be easily regauged from On30 to On2?
("easily" being a very subjective term)
Bachmann will be releasing them in On30 scale, (not that there is anything wrong with that)
to go with their rapidly expanding line of On30 trains..
thats great for On30 modelers..but..I dont want to model the Maine 2-footers and have them running on 2 and 1/2 foot gauge track! 
For me personally, if I am going to jump into this new scale, it has to be "real 2-foot, or nothing"
meaning..real On2.

So, I started reading up on On2, joined the Maine On2 forum, and just started obsessing! 
I have been modeling Maine 2-footers the last few years in 29n2 scale, so that I can model 2-footers along side my 1/29 scale standard gauge trains, when I build my eventual outdoor garden railroad, (my wife and I have just started the house-hunting process!)
But I was never even considering jumping into an "indoor" scale again. (I used to model in HO, as a teenager in the 80's)  I thought I would be sticking to "Large Scale only" pretty much for life..
so much for "the best laid plans!" 

I was planning on simply waiting..waiting a year or two for the Bachmann On30 Maine forneys to come out..THEN see how easily they can be regauged to On2. I was thinking "well..if they can be somewhat easily regauged, then I will jump into On2..if not, I might not bother at all."
that plan is gone! its too there!

The thing about regauging is that anything CAN be just depends on how much work you are willing to put into might not be "easy" at could involve scratchbuilding an entire new frame. But I have already regauged one locomotive, (in 29n2 scale, not On2)  so im not terribly worried about these future Bachmann WILL be done! somehow...
hopefully Bachmann will take On2 into account and design these engines to be fairly easily regauged. (please Mr. Bachmann!)   they ARE 2-foot prototypes afterall! 
Based on the recent On30 consolidation, im sure these upcoming Maine engines will be fabulous!

So..I need to make a piece of On2 rolling stock! 
This will actually my second On2 project.
I already built a Portland Locomotive Works O-scale kit of the WW&F flagstop station, ordered from Maine 2-foot Quarterly,
and its a beauty! 

(my scratchbuilt 29n2 station is on the left, O-scale PLW kit on the right.)

So lets jump into this coach bash!! 
First step..get 2 Bachmann coaches and start measuring things up.

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I'm going to take these 2 coaches, slice them up, and join bits of them together to make a
On2 Maine coach based on the overall dimensions of SR&RL coach 22.
The Bachmann coaches need to be reduced in height and width.
parts of the two coaches joined together will give the correct length.
fortunately, the window size works out well!

At first, I was planning to build an actual, accurate model of SR&RL coach 22, (or as accurate as I could make it! ;) but after some study of the Bachmann coaches, I have instead decided to build more of a "freelance" Maine 2-foot coach based on the overall dimensions of SR&RL 22.
The length, width and height of the finished model will be accurate in On2 for coach 22,
the difference is going to be in the windows..which I will explain below.

First, measure the coach, and comapre to the dimensions of SR&RL 22 in O scale.
dimensions are in mm.


So the bachmann coach has to be reduced 3mm in overall height.
and 6mm in overall width.

Using my good friend Photoshop, I did some "digital kitbashing" to see how things would look.
Here are a few of the ideas I considered:

Chop 2mm off the bottom, and take 1 or 2mm out of the narrow, upper windows,
resulting in this:

looks pretty good! but im not thrilled with still having those thin "top windows".
I would like to eliminate those completely.
I would also like to have the windows spaced like the real #22, with pairs of windows, and a thicker
post inbetween sets of double windows..I considered cutting out every other post, expanding the height of the window into the "top window", and replacing the cut-out center post with a thinner post of styrene, resulting in this:

I like the look of that! but...the Bachmann coaches are very nicely detailed (which is good!)
but the window detail is complex..cutting away posts wouldnt be as simple as cutting out the post
and sticking in a narrow strip of square stryene in its place..there are molded in details along the top and bottom of each window that would have to be carved out and smoothed out for the effect to work properly..thats a LOT of fiddly carving, filing and sanding.. im not sure I could pull it off, so im dropping that idea for now. and, the windows end up being a bit too large that way..both in width and height. 

I also considered ordering new windows from Grandt Line, and scratchbuilding an entire new "window strip"..then re-attach the top and bottom of the B-man coach to this new strip of windows..
but that Bachmann window detail is too nice not to keep.

So my current working plan is this.
cut 1mm off the bottom. that makes the "bottom panel" the correct 15mm in height.
then slice out 2 mm from the top of the "thin windows"..but rather than keep the windows,
I will fill in that space, creating a new thin strip running along the top of the windows.
I will probably then scratchbuild a new "road name strip" across the top.
resulting in something like this:

I like it! 
the window size of the Bachmann coach is already nearly perfect for the size of the SR&RL coach..
the trick is cutting and pasting everything else around those windows.
the clerestory roof is a tad too high on the Bachmann coach, but im not going to bother to try to cut that down..
the roof will need to be first I was thinking I would have to cut out a strip down the middle and re-join the 2 sides..but the width of the clerestory is fine,
so instead I can simply shave off a few mm down both edges..which is much easier!

Because it wont be an "accurate" coach 22, I will probably give it a fictional number, like coach 23 or 24. I dont like to give real prototype numbers to models unless they are as accurate as they can be.
(hence Locomotive #25)

Trucks will be Coronado scale models SR&RL passenger trucks.
and new end platforms and steps will be scratchbuilt.

Thats everything as of 01/16/2006.
so far, no actual cutting of plastic has been done!
thats next..tonight I will take the cars apart..

January 23, 2006

this project requires a new model making tool!
a mini table saw.
See this thread for the ongoing saw saga. 


Got the new SR&RL passenger car trucks!
From Coronado Scale Models.
(and I ordered the specific NWSL On2 wheelsets with the trucks)


 The new On2 trucks with the Bachmann On30 trucks.


 The two coaches disassembled:

 I made a surprising and unexpected discovery while taking the coaches apart!
I have been stripping and repainting model railroad shells since my HO scale days
back in the 80's..EVERY shell I have ever worked with has been either, white,
grey, or black styrene underneath, with the paint for whatever roadname painted over
the bare styrene.
I expected the same with these On30 coaches!
I was suprised to discover that the Orange of the Great Northern coach, and the Red of
the "Wonderland Express" coach was NOT paint! 
instead, the GN coach is molded in solid Orange plastic, and the Wonderland coach is molded
in solid RED plastic!! I expected them to the same underneath..

(update..turns out the sides were painted afterall! Red paint was painted on top of the red plastic
and orange paint was painted on top of the orange plastic..
I stripped the paint with "91% isopropyl alcohol" (rubbing alcohol) available at any drug store.
(use the 91%..its stronger)

I wasnt concerned with them being different roadnames, because I would just strip the paint the roadname they came with would be irrelevant, because they would be the same color of bare plastic underneath...or so I thought.
but now I have 2 different colors of plastic!
oh still shouldnt be a problem, because I will prime the shells before painting anyway.
it was just a surprise!

I also wound up with with 2 different colors of clear plastic for the clerestory windows.
also unexpected!
one set clear, and one set green.
anyone want to trade clerestory windows?
I will trade green for clear, or clear for green.

live and learn!

Here are the parts I plan *not* to use in the new SR&RL coach.
the frames, interior and trucks.
actually, I might try to re-use the interiors..just so there are some seats showing 
through the windows..even though the 2-foot coaches had different seat arrangements.
and im going to try to salvage the railings and truss rods..or get new ones, not sure yet.


And the parts that will be used.
The sides, ends and roofs.


All apart!


Now I have to get that saw up and running....

On to Page 2

Scot Lawrence.
Rochester, NY
Page started January 16, 2006.

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